One persistent bit of criticism following Arianna Huffington‘s Huffington Post since its inception is the fact that its various blogs have a tendency to lean to the left. While the blog network has occasionally featured posts by more conservative writers – including a pre-RedEye Greg Gutfeld – criticism over its mostly liberal voice reached a fever pitch when it was revealed that Aol had bought HuffPost for $315 million and would be placing Huffington in charge of editorial across various blogs. That news prompted Aol blogger Matt Lewis to leave Politics Daily for The Daily Caller, citing Huffington’s “fat-left liberal” views.
In the days following Aol’s announcement, Huffington was asked about a potential liberal bias. She insisted, repeatedly, that she sees a left / right dichotomy as “an obsolete way of looking at the problems America is facing.” She would later take to Twitter to point out a HuffPost piece critiquing President Obama’s proposed budget cuts, asking “Is this left?”
Since then, the Huffington Post has taken other tentative steps towards a more inclusive view. Earlier this month, conservative writer and commentator Andrew Breitbart (who helped launch the Huffington Post) took to HuffPost to offer a defense of the recent NPR sting.
And, just yesterday, HuffPost associate media editor Jack Mirkinson offered a response to a post by our own Colby Hall, offering a nuanced, if not flattering, look at the Powers That Be at Fox News, not to mention Glenn Beck.
Now, HuffPost has announced six addition to its reporting team, including Reason‘s Radley Balko, a libertarian, as its new criminal justice reporter. Balko has previously offered commentary and analysis on Fox News and elsewhere in addition to running his own blog, The Agitator.
It’s no doubt that a more varied and wider range of opinions can be better for Aol, if not the Huffington Post, in the long run. Time will tell whether readers will rush to HuffPost and/or Aol’s blogs for political news and opinion across the spectrum but, in the meantime, it seems like Huffington is at least beginning to make good on her promise to offer a more nuanced means of looking at “the problems America is facing.”
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